There are plenty beers in Belgium, from pale lager to amber ales, Flemish red beers to sour and strong ales, and stouts. In 2018, there were about 304 active breweries in Belgium, and the number continued to increase as time goes.
In Belgium, people produced beer in the Roman era, and during the middle and high ages, people made beer with gruit, a mixture of herbs mentioned in 1974.
Some of the most famous Belgian beers are redenbach grand CRU, witbier, duvel, kriek lambic, chimay red and biere brut.
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How Is Beer Brewed?
There are mainly four types of fermentation processes used for brewing unique beers. These methods are:
1. Spontaneous Fermentation
This method is used for beers known for their popularity in Europe, “Lambic,” and the derived faro, kriek, and Greuze beers.
2. Warm Fermentation
This is also referred to as the top or high fermentation. It is mainly used for Trappist beers, white, ales, and other special beers.
3. Mixed Fermentation
This method is used for the types of ‘old-brown’ beers.
4. Cool Fermentation
It is also known as the cool fermentation method. It is used for larger or pilsner /bottom fermentation.
Most Famous Belgian Beers
1. Redenbach Grand CRU
To understand the Redenbach CRU, you should unimagine what you think typical beer would look like, the blonde color, or the fact that the head should be turned. This beer comprises 6% ABV and has a ph. of 3.2 with amazing brown color.
It is bottled to maintain its delicate balance of grain and caramel and its burn and edge. Its ancient taste dates across centuries of beer-making.
This Belgian-style tripel is an easy-to-drink beer style with carbonation and a somewhat complex flavor.
Tripel traditionally has high alcohol content and is classified as very strong ales. They are usually yellow or golden and have a distinctive sweet and fruity malt taste.
The first-ever tripels were produced as abbey beers, while the Westmalle tripel is widely considered the prototype.
Unlike other beers, the Belgian dubbed gets its flavor from candi sugar, a thick and dark syrup added to the wort. These beers’ color ranges from amber to copper with a complex aroma that tastes like toffee, raisins, dark fruit, and malt.
Dubbel beer is rich in flavors, and the modern version of this beer is usually associated with Henrik Verlinden.
This version was earlier named Dubbel bruin, and not too long after its invention, many Belgian breweries copied its style in many other Belgian breweries.
4. Trappist Beers
Trappist beer is a category of beer that involves various styles that are brewed in Trappist monasteries. Trappist beers have to be internationally certified before being produced in a particular country.
They have been approved in six breweries in Belgium, two in the Netherlands, and one in Italy, Austria, England, France,Spain, and the US.
Witbier is a traditional beer with an ancient origin but was revived in the 1960s by Paulceils.
This beer is brewed with unmalted wheat before it is traditionally filtered. Most of the varieties are spiced with coriander and citrus zest.
The beers are usually cloudy, pale, refreshing, smooth, and crisp, and it’s a whole package in one.
Duvel is a Belgian pale ale that was produced by Duvel Moortgat brewery.
It was initially known as victory ale, but due to its high alcohol content, the makers of duvel changed it to duvel after it was referred to as nen echten duvel, which means “a real devil.”
7. Kriek Lambic
Breweries traditionally produced this beer in pajottenland and Brussels. Kriek Lambic is a fruit beer made with the addition of cherries.
Before now, they were made with schaarbeekse cherries, but nowadays, morello cherries are used.
After the company ferments it, it undergoes its second fermentation in the bottle. Kriek beers have a refreshing and crisp taste with a tart and dry finish.
8. Chimay Red
Chimay red was the first Trappist beer brewed by the monks in the scourMont abbey. This beer is amber-colored with a particular Trappist style made with ground malt.
The extracted wort is boiled with hops before it is clarified, fermented, and stored. After the beer is stored, it turns clear, and the yeast in it is activated to create enthusiasm to reach the desired alcohol level.
9. Biere Brut
Biere brut is, also known as Biere de champagne, first introduced in Belgium in the early 2000s. The beers are top-fermented before they are left to mature in the bottle with champagne and yeast culture.
Biere brut is clean, bubbly, dry, refreshing, and light-bodied as its color ranges from very pale gold to a pale amber color.
They contain an alcohol content of 8%, which is higher than most beers, and are usually bottled, corked, and caged in a 750-millimeter champagne-styled bottle.
What Is the Oldest Belgian Beer?
Lying in the outskirts of Brussels, Timmermans is the oldest Lambic brewery that is still brewing in Belgium.
Its sour-tasting beer has been brewing since 1702, and since that time, it has been a typical village brewery.